Educating the Disadvantaged

Amy L. Wax

Inequality and immobility are prominent preoccupations on all sides of our politics, and everyone agrees that education must be at the center of any effort to alleviate them. But two approaches to improving opportunities through K-12 education that have gained attention in recent years—income integration and “no-excuses” education—highlight the challenges facing reformers. Both are at the forefront of efforts to help lower-income children get more out of school. But both, in different ways, force us to confront the controversial character of their clear but implicit common assumption: that to narrow achievement gaps, schools should instill middle-class values in poor students.

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The Uncomfortable Truth about Daycare

Steven E. Rhoads & Carrie Lukas

Although both social scientists and parents often do their best to avoid looking too closely, the available research suggests that heavy use of commercial daycare leads to some poor outcomes for many children. Subsidizing this form of child care effectively discourages the use of other arrangements that have not shown these negative effects. Better policy would help parents in a broader way, providing financial help regardless of families’ child-care choices.

the public interest

Intelligence and the social scientist

Leon R. Kass

The Public Interest was a quarterly public policy journal founded by Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell in 1965. Throughout its four decades of publication, ending in 2005, it offered incomparable insight and wisdom on a vast range of challenges at the intersection of public affairs, culture, and political economy—helping America better understand and govern itself in a tumultuous time. National Affairs now hosts its archives, free of charge.

Competition and the Constitution

Christopher DeMuth

From financial regulation to health-care entitlements, many of today's domestic-policy disputes boil down to one key question: the proper role of competition in our national life. Despite the rumblings of some critics, this is fitting — because the principle of competition, which the founders understood to be essential, underlies America's constitutional system and political order.

Rethinking Tax Benefits for Home Owners

Andrew Hanson , Ike Brannon & Zackary Hawley

The federal government provides enormous tax benefits, to the tune of more than $175 billion a year, purportedly to encourage people to buy their own homes. Even if it were clear that the advantages of ownership merited such encouragement, these benefits are poorly targeted—accruing mostly to the wealthy and driving them to purchase ever-larger homes. There are better ways to encourage ownership, and better ways to shape tax policy.

Our Country Split Apart

Peter Augustine Lawler

Donald Trump's narrow but momentous election victory can easily be both over-read and under-read. It was not the mark of a social revolution or a total transformation of our politics. But it also was not a fluke, or the sum of a series of bizarre coincidences. It was a declaration of discontent, rooted in a set of challenges that our complacent elites, on the right and left alike, had better take very seriously.


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